The 30-Million-Word Advantage
Do you know that frequent, consistent conversation in the family gives children a
tremendous learning advantage?
Some influential researchers at the University of Kansas observed that young children from birth to
age three learn almost all of their vocabulary from their parents. Children who hear more words have
the advantage of larger vocabularies and higher reading levels. Simply by talking more, we give our
children an academic boost.
- The study shows that some children receive far more talk time than others, leading researchers
to estimate that they are hearing 30 million more words by age three.
- This led to the idea of the “30-million-word gap.” We prefer to call this the “30-million-word advantage.”
When parents create more conversation, children receive an amazing benefit.
The researchers found that conversation with parents builds young children’s vocabularies and confidence.
- Studies show that parents do a better job of building language skills in their children than even the best professional programs!
- The parents who talk to their children the most are also more positive with their children. Their children are hearing the most positive and affirming words!